We did it mommas! Yes! Thank you Jesus for your strength, power, encouragement and endless supply you bestowed on me in this journey! My little boy Duce successfully nursed for 2 years! 🙌🏿👏🏿What a blessing it has been to be able to provide such natural, nutritious, healing and enriched milk to my son for 730 days. Don’t get me wrong, it was HARD! My faith, endurance, selflessness and body were challenged often, and there were many days that I wanted to quit. I would tell myself, “You made it to 3 months, that’s good enough…you made it to 6 months, that’s great! Girl you made it to a year, you can stop now! Wow a year and a half! You’re amazing! He doesn’t need it anymore! Cut him off!” All of these thoughts ran through my mind, and even the ones that said, “Girl you are amazing! 6 months?! What?! Go on! Try a whole year! Wow! You did it! A year! Why not 2 years? You got this!” All of those affirmations and encouragements that I, my husband and pediatrician put in me, helped me make it to 2 years, and I am so thankful and proud. I have nursed in the comforts of my own home, on road trips in the car, frustratedly in a doctor office bathroom, on airplanes, at church, and an amusement park! It has been an amazing journey!
Of course my thankfulness comes from me meeting my goal, but more importantly, because my son received the perfect nutrition necessary for him to grow and be the strong, healthy and smart boy he is today. In his 2 years so far he has only had 2 minor colds, that have healed up quickly. He recovered from open heart surgery in 9 days, opposed to the 2-3 weeks they suggested he would be hospitalized for recovery-that was all God!
There are so many benefits to breastfeeding for mommies and their babies. Here are just a few:
- Breastfed babies have a better immune system that fights off viruses, illnesses and allergies
- Lessening the risk of SIDS and obesity and making vaccination being more effective
- Mommies lose pregnancy weight from calories burned while nursing
- Lower risks of breast and ovarian cancer
- Helps mommas heal quicker from deliver
- Saves you money from buying formula and bottles
- Can be a natural birth control
- Gives you that special bond with your baby.
And so many more!
I don’t want to condemn anyone for not nursing their child, or only doing it for a short time. You truly have to do what is best for you and your child. That comes with trial and error, weighing your pros and cons, and if you decide to, being a very selfless and determined momma. Breastfeeding takes a lot of work, grit, time, energy and support. And if you’re lucky like me (sarcasm inserted😏), you’ll have a son who is allergic to eggs, dairy and peanuts, so you have to follow a strict diet to make sure his needs are met and not causing harm to his immune system. There were days I wanted to quit because I missed my eggs, pizza, cold stone creamery, and more. But then I would look into his big brown eyes as he nursed and be reminded of why my sacrifice was so important…because of him..my Duce.
At Duce’s 2 year wellness appointment his pediatrician suggested to just cut him off cold turkey…yikes! Let me tell y’all! Duce and I were in knock-out, drag-out fights (exaggeration inserted) that first week. He was so upset with me though. Hitting my chest and telling me yes, and even saying milk after refusing for the last 6 months to do so! He screamed, cried, pouted, tried to pull my shirt every which way to get to his milk, but I stayed strong and committed to weaning him. I personally knew it was time, because he was just nursing for leisure and for very short spurts before naps and bedtime, and a snack or 3 during the day🤦🏿. So many days consisted of him crying his little heart out and me just holding and rocking him when he would let me. His biggest upsets were during nap time and bedtime when he relied heavily on it before bed. So as we were weaning I found him just frustrated with me and not wanting to be held. He would just sit next to me upset and whining until guess what…he fell asleep! On his own! He went from falling asleep nursing, to falling asleep sitting up at any given moment…anywhere! lol We could be watching one of his shows or he could be playing on the couch and the next thing you know, he’s hunched over, laid flat on his back or to the side sleep! He figured it out! After that first week, it was uphill from there. We have spent these last 2 weeks still encouraging him that he doesn’t need it. He still asks for it maybe once a day, kindly walking up to me with those big brown eyes, climbing in my lap, putting his hands on my cheeks and tapping my breast with the look of please and permission in his eyes. I tell him no (which let me tell you is STILL HARD), and he throws out a little whine, taps my breast multiple times and walks off frustrated with me.
I can offer this advice in weaning-mind you, there are many ways to wean. Some do it gradually, some go “cold turkey” like me. Do what’s best for you, when it’s best for you and your child.
- Find a replacement for them when your child usually nurses.
- At bedtime, maybe a warm cup of milk
- During the day a cup of milk, snack or activity every time they want to nurse
- Encourage them.
- Remind them that they are a big boy/girl and they don’t need it anymore
- Tell them you love them and hug them
- Praise them.
- When they accept no, praise them with words and actions (high fives).
- Stay committed.
- If you are certain that you want to wean, then stick to it. And get an accountability partner that you can reach out to when you are weak and ready to give in to remind you of your goal.
- Find new ways to bond.
- Read books together with your child sitting close to you.
- When they fall asleep hold them for a little bit before putting them down.
- Sing and dance together (holding them in your arms).
This was a hard journey for me especially-more than my son actually, even though he would beg to argue. 😂 What I loved most about nursing my son, was the unbreakable bond that we formed with one another. Nursing time was our special time together, where we loved on each other with cuddles, chats, singing and even peaceful energy that rested us both. My doctor reminded me that because I am so blessed to be able to stay at home with him, I don’t need to continue to nurse to nurture a bond that is already there. That comforted me. And the occasional reminder that I could have Giordano’s Pizza, macaroni and cheese and an omelette again! 😂
I am so thankful for this journey. It has been so full and empowering for me personally. I am thankful for a husband who believed in me and encouraged me to nurse, and never turned his face up when I needed or wanted to nurse in public or until Duce was 2 years old. I am blessed by the bond my son and I have because of our special moments together nursing, and I look forward to even more new and wonderful moments we will create together. I wish all you mommies well in your journey. Remember to be selfless and steadfast in the journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself, encourage yourself, and believe in that amazing momma power you have bestowed on you by our God! You can do this, beginning to end! With so much love, grace and confidence.
Thank you Duce for loving me through the most magical and miraculous way that God ordained our bond to be. This has been a beautiful journey that we have shared together. Through it you have taught me so much about love, patience, commitment and the power of God’s promises. I cannot wait for our next journey together…POTTY TRAINING! See you on the other side of Diapers and Wipes Roads mommas! 😂🤞🏿❤️
Hebrews 6:11: “We want each of you to show the same diligence to the very end, so what you hope for may be fully realized.”
-Soli deo Gloria💜
Copyright © 2019 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
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